I Do Not Feel Old!
I Don't Know About You But I Don't Feel Old
When I was younger (not so long ago) I thought 50 was about as old as a person could get. Then, as I entered my 30s and 40s and saw how quickly 50 was approaching me, I considered 60 to be the ‘old age’ mark. Then the inevitable happened—I started to creep very close to 60! I had to recognize that retirement was around the corner.
What is happening? I am still so young!
Being called a ‘senior’ was bad enough! But being called an ‘elderly’ person was just outrageous! So I started saying I was “North of 55.”
Now don’t get me wrong. Now that I am over 60, I don’t mind receiving ‘concession’ rates on buses or receiving seniors’ discounts at stores (although they no longer ask me to prove I am a senior), I just don’t want to be considered ‘old’.
Functional Age vs. Chronological Age
I soon learned that chronological age does not correlate perfectly with functional age. For example, two people may be the same age but differ in their mental and physical capacities. And it is functional age that can make the difference in where we live and how we live.
In order to live in a world dedicated to the young, beautiful and active, I had to learn what it is that makes a person feel young no matter what their age.
Living Independently, Living Successfully
Part of feeling young as a senior today is maintaining your sense of independence. Being able to continue to do many, if not most, of the things you used to do and enjoyed doing is one of the best ways to continue to feel young.
If your greatest joy in life was being a prima ballerina, you may find you can not keep up this activity to the same extent as you used to. What if, however, you also enjoyed photography. Why not photograph young ballerinas just beginning their dancing career? Or if you enjoy writing or teaching, why not write about your experiences or teach, at least some aspect of being a great ballerina, to young aspiring dancers.
Although I was never a prima ballerina, I was used to being involved in many creative activities while balancing studying for a master’s degree, while traveling extensively for work, while getting married, and while managing a large house and garden. It took a great deal of energy, good physical and emotional health, as well as the ability to coordinate tasks and priorities.
Oh No! I Can’t Do All the Things I Used to Do!
I found I could no longer weed the garden for as long as I used to. I could no longer get all my housework done in a whirlwind of frenetic activity. And I found that I could not prepare a holiday dinner for family and friends, decorate, and clean-up afterwards without help.
And, that is the key. I found I could not do all the things I used to do without help!
Regaining a Sense of Independence
Part of feeling young (for me) was regaining and maintaining my earlier sense of independence. I realized I couldn’t do all the things I used to do, but, I also realized that if I had some help in some areas of my life then I could do more of the things I enjoyed.
It wasn’t easy asking for help, but I soon got over that!
If I want the best quality of life I can have now and in the future then I need information and resources.
There are many sources of information on what kinds of assistance are available to seniors: financial, in-home help, mobility devices, etc. This is the topic of my next hub/article. In this article I would like to mention a few types of Assistive Devices that are relatively inexpensive and can help a senior live longer in their home.
Types of Assistive Devices
When the everyday activities of living start to become burdensome or when a senior could use some help with daily routines, assistive devices can be the difference between home-bound isolation and actively engaging in life. It is not easy to call someone every time you need to open a jar, button a shirt, or make a hot meal. I did not realize how many people face this dilemma every day. It saddens me to think that my neighbor could use the tiniest bit of attention from me to make her life significantly better and I do not even know this small need exists.
Assistive Devices for Seniors
- Bathtub bench or chair
- Grab bars
- Soap and lotion applicators that reach to the back
- Handheld showers with on/off spigot
- Button hook
- Long handle shoehorn
- Device for pulling on socks without having to bend
- Long handled combs and brushes
Drug Management Devices:
- Daily and weekly pill organizers
- Timer for when to take medications
- Pill splitters and pill crushers
Daily Living Devices:
- Jar opener
- Multi purpose knob turner
- Key holder for use when unlocking a door
- Night light
- Rope ladder for rising from a prone position on bed
- Reaching devices
These devices are just a few of the many (inexpensive) devices that are available today to help seniors cope with every day chores.
Devices to Help Seniors Stay Safe and Secure in their Home
- Guide to Removing Dangerous Fall Risks in Your Favorite Senior's Home
A smart Guide to Assistive Devices that seniors can use in their home, with important recommendations on how seniors can avoid falls and serious injuries in the home.
Here’s to Successful Living at any age!
These simple kinds of assistive devices can make all the difference in a senior’s life. This made me realize that living independently was more a matter of maintaining the best health I can (mentally, physically, emotionally), finding out what kinds of assistance may be available to me to make my life easier, and keeping a positive attitude.
2011-2012; Maralexa, Marilyn Alexander, MBA. All rights reserved.
© 2011 Marilyn Alexander
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